Success Stories - Attorney Kevin R. Crisp

Summary Judgment on Disputed Product ID

Gonzalez v. Bostitch (El Centro, CA)

Plaintiff was a framer who claimed a defective nail had broken, impaling his knee and resulting in complete disability.  Though the hospital had discarded the surgically removed nail fragment, he had a box with Defendant’s name on it, filled with dirt, a plastic grocery bag, and more than 1000 nails.  He testified to the Blythe, California location of the house he was building at the time of the incident, and said all the nails used to frame the house were Bostitch nails.

It is often possible to identify the manufacturer of a framing nail by the tooling marks on the nail’s shank.  Most of the nails in the box were indeed Bostitch nails, but six were not.  Furthermore, the building permit for the house the plaintiff claimed he was working on when hurt had not been issued until four months after the accident.  Defendant moved for summary judgment on the basis of lack of product identification.  There was no proof that the ‘defective’ nail was Defendant’s.

Plaintiff stuck with his story and the house address and the timing and claimed whether his story was convincing or not product ID was disputed and the summary judgment should be denied.  His attorney was local and had very fancy Western boots.  Faced with Plaintiff’s opposition, the Defendant visited the house in question and with reluctant acquiescence from the homeowner, pulled 20 framing nails from various portions of the house.  All were manufactured by competitors.  Though there was a dispute as to the facts of the case, the court felt that no rational juror could accept plaintiff’s version and granted summary judgment.

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